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where to find fresh shell beans in SF?

hungrybunnie Aug 26, 2008 11:38 AM

I just discovered these delectable morsels two days ago in my Mariquita Farms box, and now I am on a mission to gobble more up while the gobbling's good. So my two questions are:

What's the seasonal availability of said beans?
And where (farmers' markets and/or in stores) can I find them?

Thanks in advance for any help!

p.s. I'm new here and did try to search the boards to see if anyone's already asked this, but if I missed it, please redirect me to the right thread. :)

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  1. a
    Alan408 RE: hungrybunnie Aug 26, 2008 11:53 AM

    What is a shell bean to you?

    I saw Favas at Lunardis (San Jose) Monday (8/25).

    The SJ Flea Market had soy beans/edamame on 8/20.

    Note: I realize you are asking about SF, my sitings are to let you know what is currently available.

    Last September I was at the Ferry Building Farmer's Market and remember seeing cranberrys.

    I find it easier to google the question vs using Chowhound's Search.

    1. Robert Lauriston RE: hungrybunnie Aug 26, 2008 12:04 PM

      My favorite grower is Annabelle Lenderink aka La Tercera, she's at the Berkeley market on Saturdays, don't know where else. They just came in season and are around for two or three months. Previous discussion:


      1 Reply
      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        hungrybunnie RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 26, 2008 12:08 PM

        Thank you, Alan and Robert! I'll check out that other thread.

        The shell beans I had were cranberry beans. I'm looking to try any and all varieties.

      2. w
        wally RE: hungrybunnie Aug 26, 2008 12:20 PM

        Cranberry shellies were at Ferry Plaza farmer's market the last couple of Saturdays and will probably continue. Season is a bit late this year.

        1. f
          Fig Newton RE: hungrybunnie Aug 26, 2008 12:35 PM

          I haven't been to the Ferry Plaza market in a couple of weeks, but if you go on Saturdays make sure to try the Dirty Girl booth. They usually have beautiful shelling beans.

          I think I saw black eyed peas this week at the Berkeley market.

          This is a good time of year to be looking for shelling beans.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Fig Newton
            Robert Lauriston RE: Fig Newton Aug 26, 2008 02:48 PM

            I saw two kinds of shelling beans at Dirty Girl's Berkeley stand today. Also the best Romanos around. Several vendors had black-eyed peas.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              wally RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 26, 2008 02:50 PM

              Dirty Girl had Romanos?

              1. re: wally
                Robert Lauriston RE: wally Aug 26, 2008 02:58 PM

                Yes, next to the cranberry and cannellini beans.

          2. b
            bex109 RE: hungrybunnie Aug 26, 2008 01:57 PM

            There's at least one stall at the Tuesday Ferry Building that sells them...they look wonderful, and I'm often tempted, but they completely fail my lazy/thrifty scale (like the Vicky Mendonza diagonal from How I Met Your Mother, but I digress.) I'll pay a little more for convenience and ease, or put a little more effort into something that was a great deal. But the last time I bought fava beans, I spent about $8-9 on a lb, and ended up with a scant cup of edible beans, after the super fun double shelling process. Fail!

            11 Replies
            1. re: bex109
              hungrybunnie RE: bex109 Aug 26, 2008 02:56 PM

              It's funny, I actually *like* the task of shelling the beans! It reminds me of helping my mom with menial prep work when I was a kid, like snapping the ends off of a huge bowl of bean sprouts or filling and folding dumplings. Plus, each pod is like a small present that I get to open up and see what's inside. Simple things.... as long as I'm not pressed for time, that is. :)

              1. re: bex109
                Fig Newton RE: bex109 Aug 26, 2008 06:11 PM

                $8 - $9, really? They were $4/lb when they were in season in May.

                I'm pretty sure the stand you are referring to is Iacopi and I'm not up on their prices.

                1. re: bex109
                  wolfe RE: bex109 Aug 26, 2008 06:25 PM

                  Wait til next year. Early fava's at Monterey Market were huge and under $2 a pound. Still only a small yield after double shelling.

                  1. re: bex109
                    Robert Lauriston RE: bex109 Aug 27, 2008 09:16 AM

                    I think favas were less than half that the Berkeley market this year. There is a lot of waste. Garbanzos are even more of a pain to shell.

                    Dirty Girl's cannellini and cranberry beans are $5 a pound, and the pods are very light compared with favas.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                      wolfe RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 27, 2008 02:00 PM

                      Fava's 89 cents at Berkeley Bowl this afternoon. They look nowhere near as large and fresh as did the early ones this season.

                      1. re: wolfe
                        Robert Lauriston RE: wolfe Aug 27, 2008 02:03 PM

                        August is very late for favas.

                        I don't think they're ever over $1 a pound at BB or Monterey Market.

                      2. re: Robert Lauriston
                        chemchef RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 28, 2008 04:07 PM

                        What kind of garbanzos do you buy that are harder to shell than favas?? The ones I get are so easy to shell, we sit on the couch and eat them like popcorn!

                        1. re: chemchef
                          Robert Lauriston RE: chemchef Aug 28, 2008 04:22 PM

                          Very fresh green ones. Can't remember which market stand.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
                            chemchef RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 28, 2008 05:00 PM

                            Those are what I'm talking about, Robert.

                            1. re: chemchef
                              Robert Lauriston RE: chemchef Aug 28, 2008 05:55 PM

                              The ones I got were really hard to open. I talked with someone at the market who had a similar experience. And on average there was only one bean per pod.

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                chemchef RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 29, 2008 05:44 AM

                                Yes, typically only one bean per pod.

                    2. Melanie Wong RE: hungrybunnie Aug 26, 2008 06:55 PM

                      Has anyone seen the fresh marrowfat beans from Tierra Vegetables this year? It's the right time.
                      They sell at the Saturday morning Ferry Plaza farmers market.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                        wally RE: Melanie Wong Aug 27, 2008 10:45 AM

                        Late this year. Not quite yet.

                        1. re: Melanie Wong
                          wally RE: Melanie Wong Aug 30, 2008 10:42 AM

                          Tierra has marrow fat shellies this morning.

                          1. re: wally
                            Melanie Wong RE: wally Aug 31, 2008 05:24 PM

                            Excellent, thanks for the heads up, I'll stop by Tierra's farmstand in Santa Rosa next weekend.

                        2. Robert Lauriston RE: hungrybunnie Aug 28, 2008 08:56 AM

                          Out of curiosity sparked by the discussion here, I weighed my Tercera cranberry beans before and after prep. Looks like each pound of pods yields about half a pound / two cups of beans.

                          1. caryjones RE: hungrybunnie Aug 28, 2008 03:15 PM

                            Last Saturday I saw several stalls at the Alemany Farmers market with black-eyes in the shell.

                            1. Robert Lauriston RE: hungrybunnie Aug 29, 2008 01:11 PM

                              I posted my recipe on the Home Cooking board:


                              1. Robert Lauriston RE: hungrybunnie Aug 23, 2009 01:16 PM

                                Tercera had shell beans yesterday.

                                To my surprise she also had tung ho / shingiku, which she says they call cresta di gallo in Rome, where they put it in salads.

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